the last months of 1943, Soviet propaganda had increased the scope of its
abuse against the Polish Government, the President of the Republic and
the C.-in-C., using the most violent language and constantly terming
them " traitors,, fascists, Allies of Germany/5 and announced that,cc with
the entry of the Red Army into Warsaw, a new Polish Government would
be set up.5' Despite the unfavourable atmosphere and such adverse
propaganda, the Polish Government decided to try a conciliatory move
once again, in order to resume relations with the Kremlin, at that parti-
cular moment when the Soviet troops would cross the Polish frontier.
The attitude of the Polish Home Army and the population towards the
Soviet troops and the war on Polish territory would depend on the result
of this undertaking. The Government issued the following statement
on January 5 :—
" In their victorious struggle against the German invader, the Soviet
forces are reported to have crossed the frontier of Poland. This fact is
another proof of the breaking down of the German resistance and it fore-
shadows the inevitable military defeat of Germany.
" It fills the Polish nation with the hope that the hour of liberation is
drawing near. Poland was the first nation to take up the German challenge,
and it has been fighting against the invaders for over four years at the cost of
tremendous sacrifices and sufferings without producing a single quisling,
and rejecting any form of compromise or collaboration with the aggressor.
" The Polish Home Army, among its many activities, concentrated upon
attacking the Germans at their most vulnerable points, upon sabotage in
every possible form, and the execution of many death sentences imposed
on German officials whose conduct had been particularly outrageous.
" The Polish forces, twice reorganised outside their country, have been
fighting ceaselessly in the air, at sea and on land side by side with our
allies, and there is no front on which Polish blood has not been mingled
with the blood of other defenders of freedom.
" There is no country in the world where Poles have not contributed to
furthering the common cause. The Polish nation, therefore, is entitled to
expect full justice and redress as soon as it is set free from enemy occupation.
The first condition of such justice is the earliest re-establishment of Polish
sovereign administration in the liberated territories of the Republic of
Poland and the protection of life and property of Polish citizens.
" The Polish Government as the only legal steward and spokesman of the
Polish nation, recognised by Poles at home and abroad as well as by allied
and free Governments, is conscious of the contribution of Poland to the
war, and is responsible for the fate of the nation. It affirms its indestructible
right to independence, confirmed by the principles of the Atlantic Charter,
common to all the United Nations, and by binding international treaties.
The provisions of those treaties, based on the free agreement of the parties,
not on the enforcement of the will of one side to the detriment of the other
cannot be revised by accomplished facts.
" The conduct of the Polish nation in the course of the present war has
proved that it has never recognised, and will not recognise, solutions im-
posed by force. The Polish Government expects that the Soviet Union,
sharing its views as to the importance of future friendly relations between
the two countries in the interests of peace, and with a view to preventing
German revenge, will not fail to respect the rights and interests of the Polish
Republic and its citizens.